Charlie Sheen's Dad Martin Brings Us to Tears Following His Son's HIV News

There is nothing worse for a parent than to see his or her child suffering. Martin Sheen's words after his son Charlie Sheen announced his HIV-positive diagnosis reveal what kind of man he is: a loving father, with a deep well of compassion and insight.

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Speaking at the eighth annual CME Group's Global Financial Leadership Conference, Martin shared that his son had been working up the courage to make his announcement for several months.

"He kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess," Martin shared, adding that this was "the most difficult thing" his son had ever done.

According to Martin, he and his wife didn't know for sure that Charlie would make the announcement until he walked onto the Today show set. And what was it like for him to watch his son bare his soul?

"This morning, as I watched him alone, reveal his deepest, darkest secret, I couldn't believe the level of courage I was witnessing, and that it was my son," Martin said before the conference crowd. "I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world."

Are you in tears yet? There's more.

Martin has long been a supporter of AIDS and HIV activism -- in 2010, he and son Emilio Estevez teamed up to help raise over $1 million dollars for amfAR (an international nonprofit dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy). And Martin broadened his remarks to encourage us all to have compassion for people struggling not just with HIV and AIDS, but also with that insidious disease: addiction.

"As a father, I dare say that if I were to ask, just a general question in this room, how many of you have children or spouses or nieces, nephews, uncles, clients, who are dealing with drugs or alcohol ... I dare say that there isn't a person in here that wouldn't raise their hand," Sheen said. 

"When someone comes to themself, they have the moment of clarity, and they reveal their secrets -- which all of us have -- in public, it is a great sense of relief," he added. "It is a miraculous occasion."

What a remarkable person, to have such words of grace and wisdom to share in a time that must be very painful and frightening. He sounds like a father who has never given up on his child, and who never will.

More from The Stir: Charlie Sheen Chokes Up About Sharing His HIV News With Oldest Daughter (VIDEO)

In closing, Martin shared his dream for his son's future: "I hope that this day is the first day of the rest of Charlie's life as a free man."

That's all any parent wants for his or her child, isn't it? A hopeful future, free from all of the chains that drag us down.

 

Image via Mark Sullivan/Getty Images

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